…this paper is a preliminary assessment of the protection for, and (by extension) the health of, academic freedom in the universities of the nations of the EU
Det fremgår af redegørelsen, at dansk tilslutning til Lissabon-Traktaten efter Justitsministeriets opfattelse ikke indebærer, at Unionen får overladt yderli-gere beføjelser omfattet af grundlovens § 20.
Worried about oil-rich foreigners taking over your economy? You shouldn’t be. In reality, it is citizens of unaccountable, paternalistic regimes who stand to lose most when rulers play games with their national wealth.
Joy of Tech. Now on Facebook and YouTube.
This week has brought some old stories which most people here in Sweden would probably prefer to forget about back on the frontpages.
The first story goes back to the 1970s when the Swedish vice squad investigated a brothel in Stockholm. In 1977 Dagens Nyheter published a story which named a former Justice Minister (!) as one of the clients but the paper was forced to withdraw the story and make a formal apology. As it was, most of the story DN published has been corroborated by other sources, and since the late 1970s persistent rumours have linked prominent Swedish politicians and celebrities of the time to the brothel. Now, two women – who were under-age at the time – have come forward and not only demanded that the Swedish state pay them compensation (the limitation for this kind of cases is ten years, so technically they are 20 years late) but also presented a list of alleged customers which the media as of now are doing their best not to name.
A technical note: Unlike today, buying sex wasn’t illegal in Sweden in the 1970s but having a Justice Minister visiting prostitutes was considered a security risk.
The second case dates from July 1988 when the Finnish petty criminal Juha Valjakkala who was on a crime spree through Finland and northern Sweden with his then girlfriend murdered three people (parents and one of their sons) in the small community of Åmsele in Västerbotten. The murders sparked one of the biggest manhunts in Swedish history but Valjakkala and his girlfriend managed to escape to Denmark where they were arrested in Odense a couple of days later. Valjakkala was sentenced to life imprisonment and extradited to Finland where he has made a number of applications for parole, all of which have been rejected until earlier this week when Finnish authorities announced that he will be released on parole in the late spring of 2008.
The release is a little surprising as Valjakkala last received a rejection on an application this autumn. Swedish media have done their best to whip up a mood of anxiety and distrust against the Finnish judicial system.
From a Danish perspective, Valjakkala’s story has eerie similarities with the story of Palle Sørensen, a petty criminal from Copenhagen who in 1965 murdered four policemen who were tracing him after a break-in. Sørensen spent 33 years in prison before being pardoned in 1998 at the age of 71.
The third case was a local Umeå affair which had some national ramifications. As VK reminds us, Karolina Matti who was a graduate student in sociology, in December 1997 announced a public lecture about "The goals of nazism" (I could do that in one sentence: "Aryan" supremacy through mass murder). Eight people turned up only to discover that the speaker was Dan Berner, one of the leaders of the neo-nazi movement in Sweden. In a twist to the tale it later emerged that Matti was Berner’s girlfriend at the time.
It all ended with Matti getting the boot from the Department of Sociology (technically, her position wasn’t renewed) and Berner and Matti receiving minor sentences for incitement to racial hatred. Perhaps the recent row over Oxford Union’s decision to invite the notorious Holocaust denier David Irving and BNP leader Nick Griffin could serve as a parallel. Matti has since then changed her identity but the local newspaper still managed to track her.
We might want to note that the Swedish right-wing extremists in general and neo-nazis in particular were and are a nasty bunch and that the late 1990s saw an increase of activity on the extreme right culminating in the "7:3"-scandal, when an experiment with involving prisoners in artistic work turned sour, and the murder of two policemen in Malexander by a group of criminals which had also been involved in the "7:3" project and which had strong nazi links in the spring of 1999.
Update: Wait – there is a fourth nasty story from the past reemerging. The one about the doctors who were acquitted of charges of murdering a prostitute but sentenced for dismembering her corpse. They want compensation from the state.
Wow: If the story holds, then that was fast!
Update: Pia Christmas-Møller has posted her letter of resignation from the Conservative People’s Party on her homepage (as a pdf here) so I think we can count her as the first defection of the new Folketing.
I’m sure my politics-nerdy friends will help me out here, but if I’m not completely mistaken, then the last time a former Danish party leader has left her/his party while he/she was still an MP must be when Aksel Larsen was excluded by the Communist Party in 1958. Other possible comparisons: Knud Kristensen*), Mimi Jakobsen (is Jann Sjursen still a member of the Christian Democrats?)
The reasons behind PCM’s move: She was sidelined in the parliamentary group in September and again after the election when she was ousted as political spokesman. Personal disappointments, etc.
*) Über-nerdy point: PCM’s relative John Christmas-Møller helped bring down Knud Kristensen’s government in 1947. The Christmas-Møllers are a curious bunch.
The King of Renmarkstorget? (Hint)